What is Transportation Management? What Every Enterprise Should Know– Infographic

Transportation management is a comprehensive discipline concerned with realizing the transportation requirements of an organization. This requires the systematic analysis of an organization’s transportation processes and systems and the identification of the key relationships among these processes and systems.

Freight Logistics

Transportation management system or TMS is a powerful software application that integrates multiple real-time systems and algorithms that align a business supply chain, logistics process flow, warehouse process modeling, linehaul express shipping, freight capacity planning, and off-loading.

With this software, the speed and efficiency of an organization’s transportation and warehousing activities can be improved through the collective efforts of the transportation and warehousing staff. In fact, real-time transportation and warehousing data can significantly improve the operational productivity of an organization.

A well-designed transportation management system can achieve this by reducing logistical errors, schedule delays, excessive over-crowding in the warehouses and delivery locations, and other factors that hinder the smooth flow of goods and materials. TMS can help in the:

Real-time inventory management – A major advantage of a truck and delivery tracking applications and TMS is that they provide real-time inventory reports of loads carried by vehicles in the system. These reports are used by trucking personnel to assess their routes, forecast their loads based on past performance, and plan for additional routes or route changes that help in optimizing fleet performance. In addition to this, the tracking of loads and other parameters provided by the software, such as route, time value of money, and fuel consumption of the vehicle, can also be useful for controlling costs. An example of the common usage of truck tracking reports is for companies involved in transporting hazardous waste. TMS can also track hazardous material shipments by alerting companies when specific routes or shipments are being used by the shipper, for example, for hazardous drugs.

Real-time information about the land and sea-borne freight – In today’s fast-changing and interconnected world, a company need not wait for shipment or cargo arrival time to evaluate the cargo status. Real-time information about the land and sea-borne freight in the system allows organizations to evaluate their inventories more efficiently. The information includes estimated unloaded weight, destination, and date of shipment, among others. Trucking companies can access and evaluate all this information through real-time tracking systems using GPS-enabled handheld devices.

Visibility and availability of resources – It is no longer enough to rely on paper records to monitor inventory, supply chain, and shipment status. Trucking and Logistics companies need to have access to real-time visibility and availability of personnel, trucks, resources, and vehicles. This is essential, especially during emergencies when supplies and services may be badly needed. TMS can also help minimize the impact of emergencies and other unexpected events on logistics operations and business. Trucking and Logistics companies need to have TMS applications that provide real-time visibility of resources. In addition, the system should allow for flexible scheduling of deliveries, route mapping, reroute management, and other activities.

Excelsior Worldwide Freight Logistics conducts free orientation for those who are willing to learn. It is our advocacy to share our knowledge & experience worth more than a decade in the business. Visit our website today at www.excelsior.ph to learn more about our service.

What You Need to Know When Handling Packages During the Pandemic

The role of transportation in business has become even more evident during the spread of the pandemic. Since most people are afraid of getting infected by the COVID-19 virus, they tend to spend a lot of time indoors. While several countries like the Philippines are currently experiencing all the negative repercussions of such a crisis, there is still a high demand for different sorts of products, especially those that can be purchased online.

Making business transactions using your device and waiting for your products to arrive at your doorstep is a better idea than rushing to nearby grocery stores and malls. Surely enough, buying stuff on the internet is the safer option than exposing yourself to large crowds. However, it doesn’t eliminate the risk of you getting the virus – the packages you regularly receive have been moved and touched by several people. Now, the question remains unanswered among many consumers: what are the precautionary measures that must be applied when handling packages that they brought online?

COVID-19 from Packages

According to information from the Center for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC), the type of novel coronavirus that leads to COVID-19 can survive on surfaces of any form of materials for days. Based on an article published in Wirecutter, a study has been conducted to test the lifespan of the virus, suggesting that it can survive on cardboard for up to 24 hours.

CDC also stated that the virus has a low risk of infecting more people because packages normally undergo a long shipping process, which can take days or even weeks. The virus that’s been potentially infesting the package might have already died before it can even be brought to anyone’s home.

Handling Packages during the Pandemic

Experts in the field of virology already stressed the main reasons for how COVID-19 can be transmitted from one person to another – through respiratory droplets. There is still the possibility of contracting the virus by engaging physical contact with an infected surface, but there is little to no evidence to support this claim.

Given all the collective knowledge that we have on the virus’s behavior, CDC continues to recommend the public that the best way of preventing the spread of the disease is by washing your hands regularly and observing physical distancing with other people. There’s no harm in spraying disinfectants on your packages, but always ensure your hands are sanitized after touching the products. You can also be more cautious by taking the items you need and disposing of the parcel right away.

Keep in mind the other things you come in contact with upon touching the package, such as your doorknob, table drawers, etc. You have to consider sanitizing them as well to minimize your risks of infection further.

Excelsior Worldwide Freight Logistics conducts free orientation for those who are willing to learn. It is our advocacy to share our knowledge & experience worth more than a decade in the business. Visit our website today at www.excelsior.ph to learn more about our service.



Pros and Cons of Less Container Load (LCL)

pros and cons of less container load

Less Container Load, or more commonly known as LCL refers to a type of shipment wherein the shipper negotiates with a consolidator to book his cargo even if it doesn’t contain enough goods to accommodate a fully loaded container. The consolidator will then arrange a full container load (FCL) that comes from different shippers. Freight forwarders usually offer this kind of service by helping their clients book a full container and ensure that these goods will successfully arrive at the destination.

If you’re a business owner trying to ship your goods to reach a higher number of customers, you might want to try LCL. But first, you must be aware of several pros and cons of this specific method of transportation:

Pros of Less Container Load:

  1. Affordability – Perhaps the thing that makes LCL a viable choice amongst shippers nowadays is because of its affordability. You don’t have to pay for transporting a full container load as you are only charged according to the volume or the specific area occupied by your cargo inside a carrier.
  2. More Freedom – Availing an LCL manner of transport gives you access to an array of flexible choices especially on the way of how you wanted to receive your shipment. You are pretty much free to decide whether you wanted to go and pick the cargo yourself from the warehouse or not. There’s no need to wait for any middleman to accomplish such job.
  3. You can Still Enjoy the Benefits of FCL – Since the consolidator you hired arranged your cargo into an FCL, you will certainly enjoy the same benefits. In other words, you will only pay for a specific space while your cargo is being transported to the very same facilities.
  4. LCL can Reduce your Expenses in Inventory Management – Since it’s quite convenient to ship smaller orders through LCL, this transporting option also minimizes inventory management costs so you can focus your precious resources on more important matters.

Cons of Less Container Load:

  1. Consignment inspection can be troublesome at times – Since your shipment will be transported with other goods from multiple consignees, it could sometimes mean trouble. In case one of the consignee’s shipment turns out to be something illegal, expect delays or even cancellation of the shipping process.
  2. Shipping Delays can occur – While the transit time for LCL is similar to that of an FCL, having shipping delays with LCL is still possible. The reason for this hassle is because it usually takes around 1 to two days for the container to be thoroughly processed and loaded.

Despite the few disadvantages of transporting goods via LCL, it can never overshadow the benefits that make it a more popular option for many shippers of different business industries.

Excelsior Worldwide Freight Logistics conduct free orientation for those who are willing to learn. It is our advocacy to share our knowledge & experience worth more than a decade in the business. Visit our website today at www.excelsior.ph to learn more about our service.



Reasons Why You Should Invest in a Transportation Management System (TMS)

Reasons Why You Should Invest in a Transportation Management System (TMS)

As a business owner, it is your duty to maintain the stability of your supply chain in order to ensure that your company is steadily growing on its way to success. Most distribution companies today implement a so-called Transportation Management System or TMS to accomplish such a goal.

What is a Transportation Management System?

Transportation Management System is defined as a subset of supply chain management that involves efficient planning, execution, and optimization of the physical movement of goods. This logistics platform can basically give you information that allows you to lower your expenses on shipping, saving you a lot of time and money in the long run. But the benefits don’t end there, though.

Here are five other reasons why you should invest in a Transport Management System or TMS:

  • It improves your cash flow

Your cash flow is an important factor that keeps your business up and running. Without it, you will find yourself unable to buy inventory or even pay your employees. In fact, studies have shown that 82% of businesses today fail due to poor cash flow management. Fortunately enough, a transportation management system can help you improve your cash flow. Through centralized billing support and freight bill audit and payment features, you can save more money and keep it flowing in your business without experiencing too much difficulty. You can also standardize your payment terms for your shipments so you can easily budget and manage your cash flow since you have a more accurate picture of all those payables, receivables, and freight invoices.

  • Better warehouse management

Maximizing your warehouse duties is very important. With a transportation management system, you don’t have to spend a lot of time on managing freight tasks as you already have a thorough and optimized plan to do that. This way, you can focus more on other important aspects of the business because you have a greater overall supply chain visibility that helps you to make better decisions when dealing with any financial issues.

  • It improves customer service

Investing in a transportation management system enables you to have access to analytics and reports that show how your decisions affect customer service. These reports can make you aware of what carriers you use to ship your goods, how much their service costs, and if whether they often deliver on time or not. This way, you can improve your customer service by determining the best carrier for your business. TMS can also make you inform your customers about the current state of their order, giving them adequate tracking information and experience.

  • Better inventory management

TMS can also provide you some updates about the condition of orders and shipments in real time. By monitoring each step of the process, you can be aware of how much inventory you left and therefore, identify your future needs.

  • It can reduce invoice errors

Errors in invoices, particularly on freight payment and audit processes, can be quite common on manual procedures. TMS can negate these errors by using computerized or automated procedures.



Top Factors That Impacts Transportation Management

Transportation management is a critical component for many importing/ exporting businesses. If planned carefully and properly, an effective transportation plan can be a potential area of significant savings. And with that, many are constantly trying to figure out the most cost-effective and efficient way to get their goods from one point to another.

That said, companies often consider multiple factors to achieve optimum cost in transportation. However, there are factors that can have the biggest impact on a company’s transportation management. These are:

1. Organization’s ability to negotiate for better rates from transportation carriers

2. Load Optimization

3. Proper selection of right carrier for each type of freights

Procurement of Carrier Contract

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One of the most daunting and time-consuming processes in shipping is managing the carrier bidding process. With tons of data to examine, companies must be able to identify which carrier offers the best service based on what is presented on their freight bill and internal systems. After that, they must also identify the trends and make forecasts for future business levels in various regions. The process is too complex and onerous that many companies do not execute this often, or just simply rely on spot rates.
After the bids are received, companies must compare them all and analyze which of them offers the most valuable on the table. However, with multiple bids at hand, it can be difficult for carriers to offer competitive price and discounts to the company. And when they offer special rates, companies must also weigh its advantages against other bids, which can take weeks or even months before a final decision can be made.

To address this issue, companies are now seeking the help of bid management tools. These tools are often embedded in their internal Transportation Management Software (TMS) system. The latest versions of this system have a web-based interface to make it easier for carriers to request and submit bids to companies. Many TMS providers also offer their solution “on-demand” format, allowing companies to have access to a rich database of freight rates. Some providers also offer “community benchmarking” services to help identify situations where carriers may have bid on some lanes.

Another way to expedite the complex bidding process is through the help of Online Procurement software. These are management tools often packaged in a web-based interface that allows carriers to submit conditional statements that related to specific conditions under which they can offer special discounts. These tools can analyze multiple bids at the same time. These helps both the carriers and the company to execute the whole bidding process more efficiently and effectively.

Load Optimization

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Load optimization is another process which is almost impossible to execute until when shipment volume is low enough for a shipping analyst to review each load on a case-to-case basis. For many companies, the complex analytical engine is important to manage high-volume shipments to maximize the space and achieve cost-efficiency.

Here are the four types of load optimization that most companies usually struggle with.

• Mode Optimization- While many companies often base their decisions on physical weights of multi-piece shipments to determine when their goods get shipped via a parcel, LTL, or truckload carrier, there are many instances where a sub-optimal gets selected.

• Consolidation Optimization- As shipment volume increases, it can become more difficult to identify and combine multiple loads that are scheduled to be shipped to the same location on the same day. This gets more challenging when shipments scheduled to be scheduled the next day are low in volume.

• Pool-point Optimization- Companies with multiple suppliers in distant locations often pool inbound shipments in a remote location before it is transported to its destination.

• Multi-stop Truckload Optimization- This form of optimization involves a single truck that can leave a distribution center full, and make multiple deliveries. Thought this is cost-effective, it can be difficult to create.

Carrier Selection and Load Tendering

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One of the factors that can affect the transportation management is selecting the best carrier for each shipment you have and tending the load to that carrier. But without the ability to rate-shop against multiple carriers, and to manage tiered tendering system, it can be very challenging for companies to select a carrier that can deliver the freight properly and in a timely manner.
Without the right tools to easily rate loads against electronic contracts, the transportation department will spend so much time calling carriers, getting quotes, and then calling back the selected carrier to tender the load- a process which can suck out all the time and focus of the team on improving efficiency.

This issue can be addressed by working with a freight forwarding agency that can help you handle your whole logistics operations more effectively and efficiently. With their large network of carriers, they can help you find the right carrier that is best suited to your business needs and budget and allows you to transport to its destination without the hassles of handling the whole operations in-house.

Some of the services offered by freight forwarders are:

• Inland Transportation Tracking

• Shipping and Export Documents Preparation

• Warehousing

• Booking Cargo Space

• Freight Consolidation

• Cargo Insurance/ Filing Insurance Claims

With the help of an efficient freight forwarding company, your freights will be transported to its destination at a much lower cost, allowing you to save significant amount of money which can be used to further enhance your logistics operations.

Contact Excelsior Worldwide Freight Logistics Corp. now and let us help you in your journey in the international trade this 2017 and beyond. Call us at (+632) 525-9775 or email us at wecare@excelsior.ph.

What to Expect in Shipping Industry This 2017? (Infographic)

Last year was a ride of incredible ups and downs for the global shipping in the industry. From financial pressures to overcapacity and numerous consolidations, a lot of challenges and shifts has surfaced in the world of global transportation last 2016, which was topped by the bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping, South Korea’s biggest container carrier, and the world’s seventh-largest.

That said, the financial crisis from the previous years has really impacted the shipping industry in a very big way. Faced with harsh headwinds, many shipping firms are now setting their sails for the incoming shifts and trends in the global shipping industry this year 2017. Check this infographic as we present to you where the shipping industry is heading to this 2017.

What to Expect in Shipping Industry This 2017 HD

Excelsior Worldwide Logistics Corp.